One Gay Teenager's Sweet Torture At The Hands Of Poppy Z. Brite

Alan Kelly writes a heartfelt tribute to Poppy Z. Brite, whose novels helped illuminate his existence as a gay teenager in a small backwater town. Here's my favorite paragraph:

Her wordplay was pictorial in its depravity, think B-movies or quasi-horror cum skin flicks with an intellectual bent and you're not even halfway there. Her oeuvre connotates the absurd, the sexual, the glorious Grand Guignol in a bracingly intelligent, sometimes serious and sometimes even light-hearted fashion. She had an ear for macabre whipsmart dialogue, extraordinarily vivid characters; her fiction had me delight in the weirdness and inherent brutality of existence beneath the dark miasma that hung over most of her characters' lives. What can I say, I'm a sadist. She worked me like an addiction I never wanted to break. Her frames of reference incorporated everything from The Church of The Subgenius to the cyber-punk/avant Goth subcultures which populated the seamy seedy French Quarter in New Orleans, Trent Reznor, AIDS terrorism, filicide and filleting boys.

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But you really should read the whole thing. [Horror Reanimated]

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DISCUSSION

I used to love Poppy Z. Brite. One of my absolute favorite splatterpunk writers. Her characters were incredible, believable, well fleshed out. I still have my copies of Drawing Blood and Exquisite Corpse and Lost Souls.

And then, inexplicably, she totally forsook horror writing and now writes about gay chefs in New Orleans. Which isn't a bad thing, but I LONG for more horror by her. She was so good at it! I just don't get why she stopped writing in that genre.